Faculty expectations of libraries: a comparative study of Covenant University and the University of Lagos.

Author:Ijirigho, Mercy A.
Position::Report
 
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Introduction

The information explosion occasioned by information and communication technologies poses the challenge of satisfying user expectations. According to Aina (2004), a library has achieved its mandate when its users are satisfied with the services offered to them. Libraries face significant challenges in responding to change while sustaining their traditional functions. With the explosion of information technology have come powerful competitive forces that raise fundamental questions about the role of libraries and librarians.

The American Library Association (ALA 2007), says that:

With increases in the availability of information, user expectations have risen substantially. Librarians are increasingly expected to assist users in evaluating the information they receive. These changes evince an evolving role for librarians, one that suggests a closer partnership with users and a great responsibility for the educational process. It is noteworthy, that these challenges will vary in context, institution, organization, and with persons. Aina (2004) supports this by saying that:

Users require different services; hence librarians are expected to provide a variety of services to them. Even within one type of library, users will demand different services. The services demanded are not static, as users' needs are dynamic, requiring different services at different times. Therefore, librarians must recognize that, their primary product is the users' experience. The need to develop new service models that can help meet users' changing expectations in ways that add real value and reserve their role in the educational process becomes inevitable. In essence Librarians should learn how to keep users satisfaction up by providing a high quality user service. In the words of Kadiri (2000), there is the need for academic libraries to reappraise their service delivery capability as the librarian is capable of forming a bridge between students and lecturers. Akintola and Olayiwola (2004) affirm that libraries must understand the revolutionary change and evolve a strategy of linking organizational form to the pace of change. Rationale for the Study

This is a study targeted at eliciting information on how librarians can best serve faculty. As an academic librarian, the researcher is interested in providing excellent library resources and services by identifying new services and resources. It is a comparative study of Covenant University and University of Lagos faculty expectations of the libraries It seeks to ascertain the effectiveness of current services, the strength of their collections, and the direction the libraries should take concerning new systems and products. The decision to focus on faculty is born out of the fact that faculty members conduct in-depth and specific research. This makes them heavy library users and experts in their field of study. The requirements for tenure and promotion have compelled faculty to carry out research and publication. More so, faculty members direct their students to the library through classroom assignments. If faculty use library resources, it is more likely that students will have a good impression of the library and be encouraged to use it.

Objectives

  1. To assess the quality of service currently rendered by the libraries.

  2. To produce information on areas where services are not meeting the needs of faculty and list recommendations.

  3. To foster a user-focused environment committed to identifying and delivering information resources and services that meet or exceed faculty expectations.

  4. To evaluate faculty use of the library.

  5. To compare and expectations of faculty in a public university to those in a private university

    Research Questions

    In order to achieve the main objectives of this study the following questions were adapted from a study by Weber and Flatley (2008).

  6. Where do faculty go to meet their professional information needs?

  7. Is the library useful to faculty. Why or why not?

  8. What is the quality of services currently rendered by the libraries?

  9. How can the library help faculty with their classroom teaching?

  10. Do faculty use library resources for their own research, what and how do they use them?

  11. What do faculty think is the most important service for the library to provide?

  12. In this age of the Internet, what do faculty see as the role of the academic library on campus?

  13. In each faculty member's opinion, how can the library be improved?

  14. What is the disparity between faculty expectation in a private university and those in a public university?

    Hypotheses

  15. There will be significant difference in the faculty expectations of librarians in private and public universities.

  16. There will be significant difference in where faculty go for their professional information needs in private and public universities.

  17. There will be significant difference in what faculty think is the most important service for the library to provide in private and public universities.

  18. There will be significant difference in the ways the library can help improve classroom teaching of faculty in private and public universities.

    Methodology

    The survey method was adopted and 300 respondents were selected: 150 faculty from each university (Covenant University and University of Lagos). The simple random sampling technique was used in determining the sample size for the study. Out of 300 questionnaires distributed, 240 were completed. The descriptive statistical method of analysis was used. Data were coded in simple percentages and were presented in tables. A T-test and chi-square were used to test the hypotheses. Faculty Expectation of Librarians Scale (FELS) was developed and used to collect data. FELS consisted of four sections: access to information resources, provision of necessary services, quality of information resources, and demographic data. This instrument yielded a test/re-test reliability of .68, Cronbach Alpha of .54, and convergent validity of .52

    Literature Review

    Relevant but related literature was reviewed in the following sub-areas:

    Role of the University Library

    At the beginning of library development, a university library was regarded as a sStorehouse of material collected for preservation. Significant changes have taken place. The university library is now at the forefront of carrying out the objectives of its parent institution. Roseroka (1999) says that, "the university library is no longer simply warehouse for the containment of books and printed materials but the library has become an intellectual commons where many forms of information are accessed, utilized, and manipulated." According to Aina (2004), It is a store that stocks all kinds...

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